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Knight & Day red flannels are here to stay!

The 72nd Red Flannel Festival presents new events

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors has been working diligently to provide fresh new events for the 72nd “Knight & Day Red Flannels Are Here To Stay!” Festival celebration. “The board has added over 20 new events in the last few years and boasts over 2,700 fans on our Facebook page,” said President Michele Tracy-Andres. “This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival the biggest and best ever! We’re already working on plans for new events for the 73rd celebration in 2012!”

There is definitely a historical connection with the theme and the Original 1939 Order of Knights of the Red Flannel Drawers. According to the authors of the Cedar Springs Story, Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, the history of the Order of the Knights of the Red Flannel Drawers is as follows:

The first Red Flannel Day was held Nov. 11, 1939 and Carleton Cady wrote in that issue of the Grand Rapids Press: “Lurid lingerie adorned the limbs of nearly every citizen. Scarlet certificates of knighthood were issued to members of the Order of Knights of the Red Flannel Drawers, who proudly wore the badge, which, in miniature, reproduced the article that on winter Mondays flies from Cedar Springs’ clotheslines.”

Their password was “itch.” Dr. C. W. Brayman, James H. Cook and Jack Pollock were some of the first members in good standing, crowing the first Red Flannel Queen, Maxine Smith. We believe the miniature badges referred to are the small, red flannel cut-outs you see on lapels today.

The Festival continues to expand its advertising portfolio with the addition of several billboards to advertise this year’s events! Again this year, the Festival has partnered with WLAV, 96.9 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials and the 730 television commercials will begin on various Charter cable channels in September. The beautiful, 36-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” is also out, thanks to Festival Patron Sponsors. New this year is “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

New this year, the Festival will debut the first ever Celtic Highlander Games hosted in Kent County on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Six different ancient Celtic events will be performed all day!

Another new event is the Cornhole (bean bag toss) Tournament to be held Saturday, October 1 in the Grand Lodge.

The new Firefighter Parade debuts on Friday, September 23 at 9:30 p.m. to kick off the festivities! There are two weekends full of fun!

The Red Flannel Grand Lodge has expanded and will feature entertainment from a local favorite, the Main Street Band. New this year, international renowned Irish folk singer, Mossy Moran will perform, as well as other entertainment. Be sure to visit www.mossymoran.com for CDs and samples of his music.

In keeping with the theme, the Festival is proud to host the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree patriotic marching unit from Belmont, Michigan in the Grand Parade this year.

The Festival is pleased to announce the Queen Scholarship Pageant and Lion’s Lumberjack Supper is moving back to Cedar Springs High School this year.  “We’re proud of the strong, collaborative relationship with the School Board and Superintendent Ron McDermod,” said Curt Tackmann, Festival Secretary.

“Of course, all of the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Chili Cook Off, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions!” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

The Festival was granted 501c3 non-profit status and all donations are tax deductible. The Festival is an independent, all volunteer organization with volunteer openings for individuals, families and groups to be involved. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or get involved with the Red Flannel Festival, call 616-696-2662 or visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

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